Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente
Scherzinger (born June 29, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter, dancer
and occasional actress who is best known as the lead singer of the
Previously, Scherzinger was part of reality TV girlgroup Eden's Crush and
despite minor chart successes she left due to being unhappy. She then
joined the Pussycat Dolls when they were a burlesque troupe before taking
the role of lead singer when the group became a recording group. So far,
the Pussycat Dolls have released two successful albums, PCD and Doll
Domination, with two supporting tours.
Scherzinger was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her biological father, Alfonso
Valiente is Filipino, and her mother, Rosemary, is of Hawaiian and Russian
descent. In an interview Scherzinger said "I’m Filipino-Russian-Hawaiian,
but people think I’m from Pakistan."
Her mother Rosemary was eighteen at the time of Scherzinger's birth and
lived in an inner city neighborhood. Nicole's parents separated when she
was still a baby. Her maternal family moved to Louisville, Kentucky when
she was six years old, with her sister Ke'ala and her German-American
stepfather Gary Scherzinger.
In an interview with The Daily Mail Scherzinger explained that she had
been brought up with a strict religious (Catholic) upbringing in Hawaii.
She first attended Meyzeek Middle School as an adolescent. Growing up,
Scherzinger states that she didn't have a lot of money and the singer
thanks her mom for all the support she gave her to become what she is
today. Scherzinger began performing in Louisville, attending the Youth
Performing Arts School at duPont Manual High School and performing with
Actors Theatre of Louisville.
As a teenager, Scherzinger was the first runner-up at the 1996 Kentucky
State Fair's Coca-Cola Talent Classic contest. She also was the Queen for
the Louisville Barrio Fiesta, a celebration of all Filpinos in the area.
Scherzinger majored in acting and musical theatre at Wright State
University, where she played Velma Kelly in Chicago and Julie La Verne in
Show Boat, but put her studies on hold in 1999 to sing backing vocals for
the rock band Days of the New.
Scherzinger appeared on the second album by Days of the New, released in
1999. She also recorded two songs with Barry Drake's F.O.B, which were
released in 2001.
In 2001, Scherzinger competed in the premiere season of The WB's
television show Popstars, on which she earned a spot in the all-girl pop
group Eden's Crush. She became one of the main vocalists for the group.
Their 2001 US single "Get Over Yourself (Goodbye)" peaked at number one in
sales and hit the top ten on Billboard Hot 100. They toured in support of
both *NSync and Jessica Simpson. "Love This Way" was the second single
chosen from the Popstars album; however, their record company, London-Sire
Records, folded and the group eventually disbanded. Songwriter Kara
DioGuardi contributed one track to the album, and later went on to
co-write with Scherzinger for PCD, Doll Domination and Her Name Is Nicole.
In November 2007, Scherzinger spoke of her time in Eden's Crush
“ ...It was hell... I was in a band with five other girls and every day
was torture for me. We were on TV all the time and the atmosphere was
awful.... Every day I was in that band I cried my eyes out. The band was
meant to be fun and frivolous but the reality was that it was
miserable.... I was too sensitive back then, but I got toughened up. I
couldn't have gone into the Dolls without my experience in Crush. ”
After the disbanding of Eden's Crush, Scherzinger made a few promotional
solo appearances under the stage name of Nicole Kea, including covering
"Breakfast in Bed" for the soundtrack to 50 First Dates in 2003. This
track was produced by Nick Hexum who was her boyfriend for three years.
Scherzinger worked with Yoshiki of Japanese rock band X Japan on in his
Violet UK project. She sang the English version of "I'll Be Your Love"
live with the Tokyo Symphonic Orchestra. The track also appeared on the
2003 Various Artists album Exposition of Global Harmony.
In May 2003, Scherzinger joined the Pussycat Dolls burlesque troupe, who
were being re-cast as recording artists. She had first seen them
performing on The Late Show with David Letterman in November 2002, where
Carmen Electra sang "Big Spender" from the Bob Fosse musical Sweet
Charity. In 2006, Scherzinger said "It caught my eye because I’d played
Velma Kelly in (Fosse's) Chicago in college." In one interview she spoke
of her role with the Pussycat dolls stating that it was a "challenge
fronting the group" but that "every girl has something different to bring
and add to the success".
The Pussycat Dolls have worldwide status as a popular singing group, with
"Don't Cha", "Buttons", "Stickwitu" and "When I Grow Up" as Top 10 hits in
the United States. The album PCD went double-platinum in 2006. Scherzinger
sang nearly all lead vocals on the album, with Carmit Bachar and Melody
Thornton also contributing. It was revealed in 2006 that the Dolls are
salaried employees of Interscope Records, giving the label a high level of
control over the group's finances and business decisions.
Scherzinger is the only group member with songwriting credits on PCD; she
co-wrote "I Don't Need a Man" with Kara DioGuardi and producer Rich
Harrison, and co-wrote "Buttons" with producer Sean Garrett. Another
collaboration with DioGuardi, "Flirt", became a bonus track on PCD and
later became a B-side to "Buttons." As with PCD, Scherzinger is the only
group member to have songwriting credits on the second Dolls' album Doll
Along with the Pussycat Dolls, Scherzinger was asked by Ron Fair to record
the English version of "Jai Ho", the hit song from the film Slumdog
Millionaire. The new version titled "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" was
released to iTunes on February 23 2009, and elsewhere worldwide on
February 24. A video accompanying the song has been shot at a Vienna train
station and was released worldwide on March 13, 2009. She along with
member Melody Thornton are currently the only members in the Pussycat
The success of PCD brought Scherzinger into the media spotlight and she
went on to record a series of duets/guest vocals with a wide array of male
vocalists. In 2005, she appeared on recordings by Shaggy, Vittorio Grigolo
and Will Smith. In 2006 she sang co-lead vocals with Avant on his single
"Lie About Us" , and Diddy's hit "Come to Me" (which she also co-wrote).
Other appearances are listed in discography. In the biography section of
her official website she says that everyone recognises her from the
Pussycat Dolls's debut single "Dont Cha" which although amazing doesn't
fulfill her musical desires. When asked what she intended to achieve with
her solo career she commented "Some people only have their glasses half
full, but there was never a limit to mine." The purpose of the album was
to appeal to younger audiences, show them "the heart of Nicole" and show
that she is "not always strong and fearless".
In April 2008, Scherzinger recorded a cover version of "Rio" by Duran
Duran for an advertising campaign for Unilever's Caress brand of body
wash. A commercial video was released, and the single was released via
download only, after May 2008. In 2008, in support of Barack Obama, she
was one of many musicians to contribute to a track by will.i.am called
"Yes We Can". Also on September 5, 2008, Scherzinger joined an all-star
cast to perform the charity song "Just Stand Up" on live TV. Scherzinger
performed "America the Beautiful" at WWE's WrestleMania XXV in Houston, TX
at the Reliant Stadium on April 5, 2009. Nicole Scherzinger performed with
guitarist Slash on October 2 in Las Vegas. Nicole has confirmed that she
has done one song with Slash for his solo album Slash to be released in
April 2010. In February 1, 2010 along with other artists Nicole had
re-recorded We are the World, a charity single for the victims of the 2010
Haiti earthquake. The song debuted during NBC's coverage of the opening
ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics. It was released as a single on
iTunes in February 12, 2010 accompanied by the music video.
From 2006 until late 2008 Scherzinger had been working on her debut album
which was titled Her Name Is Nicole. She told MTV "I've always said that
in the Pussycat Dolls, I kind of feel like Superwoman. But that's just one
of my alter egos. I've got the vulnerable, lovesick side of me amongst
others which all appear on my record." She recorded/wrote approximately
100 songs for the album which was supposed to be released in 2007 before
being pushed to October 16, 2008 and later into 2009 before being shelved.
The album saw Scherzinger work with a wide roster of producers and song
writers some of whom had worked with Scherzinger for albums with the
Pussycat Dolls. Sean Garrett and Polow da Don worked on "Whatever U Like"
(featuring T.I.) which was released as the album's lead single on July 24,
2007 but deemed unsuccessful reaching just 57 in Canada and number 104 in
the US. "Baby Love" was the second single released on September 10, 2007.
Although well received and compared to the Pussycat Dolls' song
"Stickwitu" the track did not chart well in the US. Internationally the
single fared well reaching Top 15 in most countries including the UK, and
mainland Europe. It was remixed to be included on Doll Domination as a
bonus track. The third single "Supervillain" was described as having a
"danceable jam with a catchy chorus" and featured a reggae–dancehall
interlude. Written by Rock City and produced by Mad Scientist it was only
released to US iTunes in November 2007. The song's synthy melodies and
disco-mowtown feel with Scherzinger's 5-octave range were not enough to
chart in the US. Fourth single "Puakenikeni" (a type of flower in Hawaii)
also released to iTunes in November was produced by Akon to as a tribute
to Scherzinger's heritage but failed to chart.
Other songs included the critically acclaimed "Just Say Yes", written by
Gary Lightbody (of Snow Patrol) which was a soft and slow song with its
pulsing, electronic beat. She told MTV of her excitement to record the
song previously rejected by Gwen Stefani. "I'm such a huge fan of Snow
Patrol's music, I felt like I was supposed to make it my own. "It's a very
honest and truthful song." Ne-Yo gave Scherzinger two songs, "Happily
Never After" a slow ballad of which Scherzinger said she felt it
"important for young girls to have an empowering message that they deserve
better". Interestingly the song was originally written for Britney Spears
to record for her album Blackout in 2007. The other song has a tear
jerking ballad called "Save Me from Myself" for which Scherzinger helped
Ne-Yo in developing the hook before recording the song. When commenting on
another song "March" Scherzinger said she wanted a powerful record. "It's
about never giving up on your dreams and it’s about what I went through to
get where I am today." Timbaland produced and featured on the song
"Physical" on which his trademark vocals can be heard over the upbeat
melody and thumping baseline. Part of the song was used in the film
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The album sessions also
produced number of other songs including "When Your Falling" (also
co-written by Akon) "Power's Out" a riveting duet with American
Grammy-nominated singer Sting (featured in Revlon adverts with Jessica
Alba) and "I M.I.S.S You" written by Pharell Williams & produced by The
Doubt was cast over the future of the album when the Pussycat Dolls
released their second album Doll Domination which featured some of the
songs which had initially been recorded for Scherzinger's own album.
"Happily Never After" and "Who's Gonna Love You" were placed on the album
with no changes whilst additional backing vocals were added to "When I
Grow Up" before it was released as the album's lead single. Christopher
"Tricky Stewart" and The-Dream were also working with Scherzinger and
produced, wrote and recorded at least two songs for the album. Both of the
known recordings, "Punch You In Your Sleep" and "I'm a Cheat" were
re-allocated to The-Dream's wife Christina Milian who has recorded them
for her fourth studio album Elope due in 2010. Furthermore it was revealed
that Keri Hilson (a writer who has been heavily involved in writing for
the Pussycat Dolls) had written a song called "Alienated" for Scherzinger,
however when the album was delayed and shelved Hilson reclaimed the song
and instead recorded the song with producer Cory Bold for her own debut
studio album In a Perfect World… Reviews later went on to give the song
critical acclaim for its "electro-blips and whispery raps that are
alluring." In September 2009 it was confirmed that the teary ballad, "Just
Say Yes" was reclaimed by Gary Lightbody who has since re-tooled and
reworked the song. It was released as the lead single from his band, Snow
Patrol's compilation album Up to Now, on November 2, 2009.
Speaking about the delayed release of her solo album, in September 2008
Scherzinger said "Despite what other people might write, it was my
decision, ultimately. I actually put some of my solo songs on the Pussycat
Dolls' new album Doll Domination. Everything is all about timing. I
believe it will come out next year, and it will be able to coexist
wonderfully with the Dolls' album. It's completely separate from what
you've heard with "Baby Love" and "Whatever U Like," and I'm still working
on it — that's what happens when you're a perfectionist."
She was interviewed by Billboard magazine in April 2009 regarding her own
career plans as well as what The Dolls were up to. She said "the current
incarnation of the album is just in talks and in the writing process. I
haven't started recording yet." She plans to enter the studio again after
the Pussycat Dolls have finished their World Domination Tour. Speaking
about the project Scherzinger said she will be working again with
Will.i.am, Timbaland as well as with new associates Lady Gaga and A.R.
At the start of 2010, Radio 1 added the album to its upcoming releases for
the year, with the album still titled Her Name is Nicole. Contactmusic has
reported that singersongwriter Ne-Yo who previously worked with
Scherzinger on "Happily Never After" and "Save Me From Myself" is working
with the singer again. He said "she is putting all her energy into her
work". He was also quoted as saying
“ Nicole is in a state of liberation right now so the tracks are very
free. She is in a place where she is happy to be alive and the tracks are
definitely expressing that. The whole album is going to be a pressure
release - a great big exhale - and I'm happy about that. She has a lot of
emotions after splitting up with Lewis (Hamilton). But it's like taking an
eagle and giving it back its wings. ”
On January 26, 2010 it was revealed that Jay Sean and Scherzinger were
both working on something in the studio together. The video was originally
posted to twitter but has been uploaded to the general internet too and
shows the pair having a good time at Hit Factory (Criteria) record studios
in Miami, Floria. In the video Scherzinger reveals she has been recording
in the studio which Mariah Carey created some of her best known material
as well as 'Studio F' where Sean recorded "Down" with Lil Wayne and where
Scherzinger previously laid down vocals for Timbaland's hit single
"Scream" with Keri Hilson. The pair also made note to T-Pain and Lil Wayne
who were present at the studio. It is unknown whether the pair achieved
any musical success e.g. recorded any usable songs and it is unknown if
the records are for an upcoming single for Jay Sean, the upcoming third
album from the Pussycat Dolls or Scherzinger's own heavily delayed studio
album which is also due for release in 2010. Separately it was reported
that she was working with Chuck Harmony whose previous credits include
Rihanna's top-ten hit "Russian Roulette" (2009) as well as multiple
credits on Ne-Yo's Year of the Gentleman (2008) , Mary J. Blige's Growing
Pains (2007) and Anastacia's Heavy Rotation (2008).
Nicole Scherzinger will appear on "Baby Can't Drive", a duet with Alice
Cooper on Slash's first solo album, Slash.
Scherzinger has made minor appearances as an actress. She appeared in the
TV comedy, Half & Half, My Wife and Kids and the 2003 film Love Don't Cost
a Thing. She appeared in a Nike shoe commercial with basketball player
LeBron James. She also had a role in 2001 as one of the "Pop Stars" in the
episode "Finally!" of the show Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, in Wanda at
Large, Chasing Papi, Be Cool and Cane. Scherzinger was supposed to cast in
one of the lead roles in the upcoming movie with the Filipino Boxing
Champion Manny Pacquiao together with professional wrestler Dave Batista.
She was about to play the leading lady of the Filipino Champ but it was
cancelled and her role went to the filipina actress Ruffa Mae Quinto.
In 2006 she made a "Bench Body" brand underwear commercial in the
Philippines and in October 2008, she promoted Clear Shampoo and
Conditioner. Both commercials were reportedly aired throughout Southeast
She also made an appearance in the Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush show as
In late 2009, it was reported that Scherzinger is working closely with
Andrew Lloyd Webber on the Phantom of the Opera sequel, Love Never Dies.
On March 1, 2010, it was announced that Scherzinger will be a celebrity
contestant on Dancing with the Stars for the tenth season and will be
partnered with Season 7 Champion Derek Hough. The season premiere will be
on Monday, March 22, 2010.
In December 2009 Scherzinger served as a celebrity judge on NBC's reality
singing competition, "The Sing-Off" along with singer-songwriter Ben Folds
and Boyz II Men bandmember Shawn Stockman. The show was hosted by singer
Nick Lachey. Scherzinger's role was to critique performances of the
competitors and vote on eliminations in all but the final round, which was
determined by audience vote. In the finale/results show, Scherzinger
performed "You Don't Own Me" with competition finalists "The Beelzebubs"
of Tufts University.
Scherzinger met Nick Hexum of rock band 311 backstage at a Days of the New
concert in 2000. They dated and later became engaged, but broke it off
sometime in 2004. She was the inspiration for their song "Amber" and
appeared in the music video. She also dated actor Talan Torriero from 2005
As of May 2008, Scherzinger had been in a relationship with Formula One
world champion Lewis Hamilton. At the start of September 2009 it was
reported that the couple had split because Lewis was not ready to start a
family. However at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix on September 13, he
revealed that the couple were very much in love and definitely still
together and denied the accuracy of previous reports. She was ranked at
number 22 on Maxim's Hot 100 in 2006, and 21 in 2007. She ranked number 19
in 2008 but this time along with The Pussycat Dolls. In 2009, she ranked
solo again and came to be number 46. Scherzinger appeared on the March
2008 cover of Men's Fitness magazine.
It was confirmed on 11 January 2010 that Scherzinger and Hamilton split up
to focus on their careers but would still remain friends. A spokesperson
for the couple said
“ It's sad because they did love each other. When you saw them trackside
together they were always laughing. But they had to be realistic. There
was no way they could continue their careers and stay together - it was
getting way too stressful. No-one else is involved, their careers just got
in the way. ”
However, on February 23, after being seen together in Hollywood, it was
reported by The Sun that Nicole and Lewis are back together. Nicole hinted
that there may be a wedding this year, implying she's engaged. As she was
in clothes store, the clothes shop assistant asked her if she wanted
anything particulary, giggling she answered: “This year - my wedding